YWCA USA CEO Testifies in Congressional Hearing

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YWCA USA CEO Testifies in Congressional Hearing

Alejandra Y. Castillo to be an expert witness in Congressional field hearing on the border crisis

EL PASO, TX – September 5, 2019 – Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA, will be testifying as an expert witness in the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship’s field hearing in El Paso, TX on Friday, September 6th, 2019. The hearing will focus on conditions along the southern border and the violence aimed at immigrant communities. The two-panel hearing, entitled Oversight of the Trump Administration’s Border Policies and the Relationship Between Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric and Domestic Terrorism, will be led by El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and attended by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO), and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

Castillo will be joined in the first panel of the hearing by:

  • Jo Anne Bernal, Esq., County Attorney, El Paso County Attorney’s Office, and
  • Monica Muñoz Martinez, PhD, Stanley J. Bernstein Assistant Professor of American Studies & Ethnic Studies, Brown University

The second panel will feature testimony by:

  • Shaw Drake, Esq., Policy Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Border Rights Center,
  • Linda Y. Rivas, Esq., Executive Director, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and
  • Fernando Garcia, Executive Director, Border Network for Human Rights

Castillo’s testimony will address the interrelated issues of gun violence, racist rhetoric, misogyny and gender-based violence that lie at the heart of America’s surge in domestic terrorism.

“Today we stand at a pivotal juncture as we search to define and defend the values that constitute who we are as a nation,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA. “Our communities are reeling from the trauma inflicted by an epidemic of gun violence, racist rhetoric, misogyny, and gender-based violence. Our nation’s worst self has taken the lives of many and dehumanized countless others on account of their gender, sexual orientation, religion, and immigration status. Through education, accountability, and swift action by Congress, we can take steps toward ending these systemic acts of violence.”

The event will also be attended by Sylvia Acosta, PhD, CEO of YWCA El Paso Del Norte region. Acosta and Castillo will both be available for interviews with the press following the hearing.

“YWCA El Paso has borne witness to the impact that the language of hate and fear has had on our community,” said Dr. Sylvia Acosta, CEO of YWCA El Paso del Norte Region. “It manifested on August 3rd when a racially motivated shooter from outside our community committed a terrorist attack. El Paso is truly one of the most wonderful cities in the world, where people of all backgrounds live and work together in a spirit of unity and friendship. The story and narratives that brought the terrorist to our community do not represent who we are. The reality is that when faced with crisis, hatred, and heartbreak, our community responds with love and compassion and by rolling up our sleeves to help. That’s the El Paso story that needs to be shared.”

The hearing can be viewed live on the House Judiciary Committee’s Facebook page at 10 a.m. MT local (9 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. CT, and noon ET).


YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at www.ywca.org.

About CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo

Castillo has over two decades of professional experience in Washington, D.C., having served in senior

leadership in two presidential administrations. Given her policy, legal and business expertise, she has worked in various public, private and non-profit settings. In 2014, Castillo was appointed by the Obama Administration to serve as the national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, becoming the first Hispanic American woman to lead the agency. In that role, she helped secure financing and capital in excess of $19 billion and created or retained over 33,000 jobs.

Castillo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in economics and political science; a Master of Arts degree in public policy from the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin; and a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law.